KEONJHAR: Amid the outrage over death of four babies in Keonjhar district headquarters hospital (DHH) allegedly due to negligence during treatment, a team of the Health department on Monday visited the sick newborn care unit (SNCU) of the DHH and started investigation.
Additional Director, Health and Family Welfare department Dr Rashmi Ranjan Satpathy and consultant, National Health Mission Dr Rabindra Nath Panda held discussions with the DHH authorities about the circumstances under which the babies died.
The team will submit its report to the State government. Among others, chief district medical officer (CDMO) Sujata Rani Mishra, additional CDMO (medical) Girish Chandra Rane and senior paediatrician Dr Kishore Chandra Prusty were present.
Earlier on Sunday, Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kisore Das has asked Keonjhar administration to inquire into the matter and submit an action taken report immediately. Sources said 13 kids have died in the last 18 days while being treated in the DHH. But after four babies died in a span of 24 hours, the issue snowballed into a major embarrassment for the health officials.
Family members alleged that the four babies were not supplied oxygen on time and doctors on duty were absent when the condition of the infants worsened. The father of a deceased baby also lodged an FIR with police alleging medical neglect. The hospital authorities, however, attributed the 13 deaths to low birth weight and complications during home delivery.
Meanwhile, a team led by BJP Mahila Morcha president of Keonjhar Mamata Singh met the Additional District Magistrate demanding a thorough probe into the deaths and strict action against the hospital staff.
The team consisted of BJP’s district president Mamata Singh, chairperson of Keonjhar municipality Niku Sahu and Adivasi Morcha vice-president Mamita Naik among others.